Conversation between a defense attorney and Judge David Talley got a little lively on Thursday during the Circuit Court’s Criminal Division session at the prison.
It all started with an appearance by the 51-year-old defendant Jeffery Thornton von Waldo. Thornton was in court to sign a consent form and pledge of guilt for having less than two grams of methamphetamine along with marijuana and syringes on August 30, 2019.
Assistant Attorney Ryan Phillips said the state had evidence that these items were found when Thornton was pulled over for a traffic violation.
Judge Talley asked Thornton how long it had been since he started using illegal drugs and he said six months. When asked moments later, he said he lied. It was actually last weekend when he was using methamphetamine.
Talley said in 30 days Thornton may be on parole.
“There is a significant chance you will go to prison so you have to decide what your priorities are,” Talley said.
Defense attorney Garnett Norwood represented Thornton and Anthony Franklin. Franklin is charged with robbery, Battery II, theft of credit or debit card property, and a habitual offender.
Norwood said he would like a mental evaluation of Franklin from Magnolia, who will be 30 on Sunday. Norwood said he spoke to Franklin’s wife and she said he had a history of mental health problems.
Phillips said Franklin had the opportunity to attend a drug treatment program, but everyone in the facility had COVID-19 and left.
“He stayed a total of a week before he left and didn’t call anyone as stated on the order,” Phillips said.
Talley said he did not understand why he heard of the mental health issues at this point in the trial, after Franklin pleaded guilty.
“I don’t care why he left now,” Talley said. “The mental assessment request was not submitted correctly. His wife says he has had mental health problems in the past. We haven’t heard from him. “
Norwood said a situation like this had never been invented by any of his clients, but he would think that if someone like Franklin walked away from an institution, something was wrong with that person.
“If someone goes to ADC Jail and I’m their attorney and haven’t said anything about their mental assessment, I’m mud,” said Norwood. “If I didn’t know about it, that’s one thing. But I know.”
The case was passed through January 7th so that lawyers on both sides could investigate the mental evaluation request. Norwood also said he would meet with Franklin’s wife to get records of her husband’s mental problems in the past.
Talley said he would do his own research and doubted it would take long.
“He had counseling because he was having anger issues, which is not the same as needing a mental assessment,” Talley said.
Shelby Barlow was facing parole revocation and Phillips said her drug court conviction set the pitch. Although the state would recommend her to the Arkansas Division of Community Corrections, they didn’t think she was an option, and Phillips said they would ask for time with the Arkansas Department of Corrections this time.
Norwood said Barlow signed up for a 35-day program in Texarkana from Jan. 16 and would like to see her try to get help there instead of being sent to jail.
“I hate to see someone go to jail,” he said. “I think someone can help her somewhere. She’s not out there hurting people as I understand it. “
Norwood told the court he didn’t think prisons did a thing for drug addicts. Talley countered, saying it would prevent her from breaking the law while she was in prison.
“Fifty-five percent of the world’s prisoners are in America and we have less than five percent of the world’s population,” said Norwood.
Talley told Norwood the reason for this is that other countries are going to execute people who break the law.
“I’m just asking for one last chance and if it works it will be a great thing,” said Norwood. “If not, we weren’t any further. I think she will find out if she doesn’t correct that she’ll go to jail.
Talley refused to make a decision because he made a rule for himself when he became a judge.
“I don’t make a decision when I’m angry and frankly, I’m angry,” he said. “I made a decision when I took the bank and it wasn’t a decision when I’m angry.”
Talley said Barlow would either be in her drug rehab facility in the near future or be back on trial.
The case of Charles Wayne Jones, who was charged with negligent homicide in a December 22, 2019 traffic accident in which his daughter Rae ‘Lee Danyale Jones, 3) was thrown out of the vehicle, was passed on through February 4.
Jones wore a t-shirt with the word “DAD” on the back in court.
Jones is also charged with driving drunk, possessing marijuana, and leaving the scene of the accident with property damage and reckless driving.
William Mosley’s case was passed on through December 17th.
Phillips said he would still like to speak to some of the witnesses and victims of the case. Mosely is charged with unsupporting more than $ 10,000 but less than $ 25,000, second degree domestic violence, aggravated assault, and theft of real estate worth more than $ 1,000 but less than $ 5,000 .
Defense attorney Jessica Yarbrough asked if her client could be released while under house arrest, but Phillips said it could not.
“The problem with the state is that there are two violent charges pending,” he said. “I am not against a speedy resolution, but it would not be a responsible decision on my behalf based on the charges.”
Krista Dawson received five years probation and charged regular court fees and fees, including an additional $ 1,320 for DWI. When officers stopped Dawson believing she was drunk, they found two prescription bottles for two different people for Oxycodone and Xanax.
Michael Green, who pleaded guilty to the battery and, as a habitual offender, received no professionals, wanted to speak to the judge after the conviction. Green has spoken in court more than once about a young woman who he said had HIV and was “excited” and determined to spread the disease to the city.
He said on the night of February 10th that he was trying to kill himself when the police came to arrest him. He had already stabbed her on her arms.
He said he had spoken to a Magnolia police investigator about it and Phillips told him that all that could be done was to send that information to the Magnolia police so they could investigate and send the information.
“I have problems with the victim on this one,” said Green. “Your blood will be on your hands. I think you’re just looking at me and my background, but this girl is HIV positive and something needs to be done with it. “